Located on the most isolated archipelago in the world, Honolulu faces a host of environmental challenges related to weather change, including hurricanes and typhoons, tsunamis, rainfall flooding, and rising sea levels. Honolulu’s island location means that critical urban infrastructure is completely independent, and cannot rely on neighboring grids for support in times of need. A strong hurricane could damage sea and air ports, creating food crises in a city that imports almost all commodities and could devastate the fragile local economy, which is heavily dependent upon tourism.  A strong evacuation plan and public outreach programs have already helped to minimize the impacts of tsunamis, and the city is currently updating its disaster mitigation plans to account for rising sea levels and other shocks.

Honolulu is also looking to address increased homelessness that is worsened by an influx of climate refugees. This stress is compounded by the location of informal homeless settlements along the coast, making inhabitants more vulnerable to extreme climate events.

Shocks and Stresses

  • Aging Infrastructure
  • Economic Shifts
  • Hurricane, Typhoon, Cyclone
  • Infrastructure Failure
  • Intractable Homelessness
  • Rainfall Flooding
  • Rising Sea Level and Coastal Erosion
  • Tsunami

Snapshot of Honolulu

  • 375,000

    population as of 2009

Around the World

Explore cities facing similar resilience challenges to Honolulu.

  • Aging Infrastructure
  • Economic Shifts
  • Hurricane, Typhoon, Cyclone
  • Infrastructure Failure
  • Intractable Homelessness
  • Rainfall Flooding
  • Rising Sea Level and Coastal Erosion
  • Tsunami
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